Hampshire Astronomical Group

Established 1960, Online since 1998

Observatory Accessibility

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Hampshire Astronomical Group welcome you!

Formed in Portsmouth in 1960 the ‘Hampshire Astronomical Group’ has grown into one of the finest 'amateur astronomical groups' in the UK.

Our extensively equipped Observatory is situated within the South Downs National Park dark skies reserve on the border of Clanfield and Horndean villages in Hampshire.

The Group hold regular Open Evenings at the Observatory from autumn through to spring; giving visitors the opportunity to view the night sky through our very large telescopes or, if cloudy, a tour of the facilities followed by a lecture on an astronomical topic in our modern (heated) clubroom facility.

Furthermore we hold Solar (sun) observing events where visitors can observe our nearest star the 'sun' viewed through our specialist solar viewing equipment  during  daylight hours in the summer months.

We also host group visits and run astronomical courses for the public at the observatory.

We have a long-established association with the University of Portsmouth where their undergraduates and students can avail themselves of our facilities and knowledge base for furthering their studies.

There is a full programme of monthly public lectures, with eminent guest speakers, held at the Clanfield Memorial Hall where non members are more than welcome to attend.

Access and Information to all our activities (which are supported voluntarily by our very active and enthusiastic membership) are shown on this website.  So please feel free to browse, it is constantly up-dated; so why not bookmark us in your browser and visit regularly.

Clear Nights and Dark Skies.

Richard Judd FRAS
President:  Hampshire Astronomical Group - Clanfield Observatory

What's on in the next month...

Friday,
9th December
2016
Herschel’s Incredibly Cool Universe
A talk by Dr Chris Pearson
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
7th January
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
8th January
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

More details...

Astronomical Events for December 2016

Moon

30 Dec – 16:35 UT – Looking low in the southwest, it may be possible to see a 1% lit waxing crescent Moon.

Planets

1 Dec – 16:20 UT – Mercury will be approximately 8° below the Moon, look for them low in the southwest horizon.

3 Dec – 16:30 UT – Venus will be about 5.5° southwest of the Moon.  To view them an uninterrupted south-western horizon is needed.

5 Dec – 17:00 UT – Mars will be 4° from the Moon and will be visible due south.

9 Dec – 20:30 UT – Using binoculars it may be possible to see Uranus which will be 3.5° north of the Moon.  In the same field of view will be Zeta and 88 Piscium.

11 Dec – Mercury reaches greatest elongation, 21° separating it from the Sun.  Look for the planet about 20 minutes after sunset where it will be low in the southwest.

13 Dec – This morning half a degree will separate Jupiter from theta Virginis, with the planet north of the star.

23 Dec – 02:30 UT – Looking in the east-southeast horizon it will be possible to see Jupiter, the Moon and Spica forming a triangle as they rise.

27 Dec – 07:30 UT – 7° will separate Saturn from the Moon and will be visible low in the southeast.

31 Dec – As it becomes dark, Neptune and Mars will be separated by approximately 20 arcminutes.  Look for them in the south-west.

Meteor Showers

6 Dec – Start of the Geminid meteor shower.

13 Dec – Peak of Geminid meteor shower with a peak of 120 meteors an hour; the nearly full Moon will spoil the display so only the brightest meteors will be seen.

17 Dec – The Ursid meteor shower starts today.

22 Dec – Peak of the Ursid meteor shower with a ZHR of about 10 meteors an hour.

Comets

15 Dec – 17:45 UT – Comet 45P/Handa-Mrkos-Padjusakova will be 1° south of M75, an open cluster.  They can be seen near the southwest horizon.

24 Dec – Comet 45P/Handa-Mrkos-Padjusakova is expected to reach +8.0 mag tonight and can be found in the ‘triangle’ of Capricornus, 13° west of Venus.  Look for it low in the southwest as the sky darkens.

31 Dec – Comet 45P/Handa-Mrkos-Padjusakova (mag +7.3) will be 1° northwest of Eta Capricornus.

Occultations

6 Dec – 22:30 UT – The Moon occults Neptune, they can be seen approximately 4° above the west-southwest horizon from the centre of the UK.

12-13 Dec – The Moon occults several stars in the Hyades.  Gamma Tauri is occulted at 21:35 UT, reappearing at 22:41 UT.  70 Tauri will be occulted on the 13th Dec at 00:33 UT, reappearing at 01:39 UT.  The next star to disappear will be Theta Tauri, a double star, at 02:02 UT making its reappearance at 02:48 UT.  Finally, Aldebaran disappears at 05:22 UT, reappearing at 05:50 UT, at this time the Moon will be 9° above the horizon.  All times are for the centre of the UK, so it is best to start observing from 21:15 UT if you wish to see the start of the occultations.

Misc

17 Dec – Midnight – The Orion nebula (M42) reaches its highest point in the sky.

Mars Image Credit: NASA
Meteor Shower Image: Stellarium
Comet Image Credit: Steve Futcher

What's on between next month and 6 months...

Friday,
13th January
2017
Protecting Space for Future Generations
A talk by Professor Richard Crowther
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
4th February
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
5th February
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
10th February
2017
Isaac Newton and the Surrey Pumas
A talk by Mike Frost, BAA Historical Section Director
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
3rd March
2017
Public Open Evening - Spring Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Saturday,
4th March
2017
Public Open Evening - Spring Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Sunday,
5th March
2017
Public Open Evening - Spring Moon Watch Sold Out!
Moon & Orion Nebula
- start time 7:15pm

More details...
Friday,
10th March
2017
Title TBC
A talk by Michael Maunder
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Saturday,
1st April
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon
- start time 7:45pm

More details...
Sunday,
2nd April
2017
Public Open Evening Sold Out!
Moon
- start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
21st April
2017
TItle TBA
A talk by Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
9th June
2017
Title TBC
A talk by Dr Aprajita Verma
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

Southdowns Planetarium

The South Downs Planetarium is a registered educational charity, which is run by a small team of experienced and dedicated volunteers.
The Planetarium operates throughout the year, but is not open every day.

Members of the public are welcome to visit the Planetarium at the show times listed on this website.

Public Shows and Dates

Friday 9th December - 7.30pm - The Night Sky This Christmas

Sunday 11th December - 3.30pm - The Night Sky This Christmas

Now Booking

Full Dome Show

One Small Step for Major Tim, A Giant Leap Towards Mars

Monday 12th December, 7.30pm
Tuesday 13th December, 7.30pm
Wednesday 14th December, 7.30pm
Thursday 15th December, 7.30pm

A spectacular look at life on the International Space Station and the future of space travel.
Featuring stunning fulldome, immersive video sequences that surround you with breathtaking moving colour images.

 

Wednesday 21st December - 3.30pm - The Star of Bethlehem

Thursday 22nd December - 3.30pm - The Star of Bethlehem

Thursday 22nd December - 7.30pm - The Star of Bethlehem

Friday 23rd December - 7.30pm - The Star of Bethlehem

As seats sell out fast, it is essential to book your seat.

Admission Prices: £7.00 for adults, or £5.00 for children 6 to 16yrs. Cash or Cheque Only

The South Downs Planetarium Trust is a Registered Educational Charity No. 1096869.

For further information about all South Downs Planetarium activities, contact: 

The South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre
Sir Patrick Moore Building

Chichester High School Campus
Kingsham Farm
Kingsham Road
Chichester
West Sussex PO19 8RP

For Sat Nav Users:-

Enter PO19 8AE

Tel: 01243 774400
Ticket hotline: 07818 297292



e-mail: sdownsplanet@btconnect.com

http://www.southdowns.org.uk/

Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium Lecture Series

Adult evening lectures on the second Wednesday's of the Month at 4.30pm and 6.30pm, each follow by a short Planetarium Show about the months sky.

Wednesday 14th December 2016 -- Dark Matter -- Talk by Prof Justin Read (University of Surrey)

Wednesday 11th January 2017 -- A Universe of dwarf galaxies -- Talk by Samantha Penny

Wednesday 8th February 2017 -- Tuning in to the Universe: Probing the Cosmos with Radio Waves -- Talk by Dr David Bacon (University of Portsmouth)

Wednesday 8th March 2017 -- Earth's Magnetosphere and Aurora -- Talk by Dr Robert Fear (University of Southampton

Wednesday 26th April 2017 -- NASA Juno Mission to Jupiter -- Talk by Dr Emma Bunce (University of Leicester)

Wednesday 10th May 2017 -- Euclid: A mission to map the dark Universe -- Talk by Dr Dida Markovic (University of Portsmouth)

Wednesday 14th June 2017 -- When Galaxies Collide -- Talk by Professor Carolin Crawford (University of Cambridge)

These events often sell out so pre-book or call to check on (01962) 863791

For more details on the talks and tickets please visit the Intech web site

What's on after the next 6 months...

Friday,
14th July
2017
Title TBC
A talk by Professor Giovanna Tinetti
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
13th October
2017
Title TBA
A talk by Professor Lucie Green
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...
Friday,
10th November
2017
Astrobiology : Tour of the Solar System
A talk by William Joyce
Clanfield Memorial Hall - start time 7:45pm

More details...

After Dark at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

After Dark: adults only

Mon 19th December, Thursday 19th January, Thursday 9th February & Wednesday 15th March

Visit the planetarium and play about in the exhibition after the kids have gone home. Activities run throughout the evening so no problem if you cannot get here for 6pm or if you need to leave early.

Ticket price: £10/£8 including one planetarium show and entry to the centre. Add the other show for just +£2.

Teachers: free entry (includes one show); send requests in advance by email using your school/college email address.

Online booking (if you want to see both shows, add the second on the next page)

Telephone bookings (01962) 891925. Please have your credit/debit card ready. If the front desk is too busy for staff to answer your call straight away you can leave your number and they will call you back.

Strictly ages 18yr+ (if you're lucky enough to look younger, please bring ID).

For more details of the events please check out After Dark

Future Learn Free Astronomy Courses

FutureLearn provides a range of free online courses from some of the world's leading educators. Courses are created by UK and international universities, as well as cultural institutions and global centres of excellence in a range of subject areas, like the British Council and the European Space Agency.

A number of Astronomy courses are listed in the website's Science, Maths and Technology category. Recent titles have included 'Moons' and 'In the Night Sky: Orion', both from The Open University. The lead educator on the Orion course, Professor Monica Grady, CBE, worked as part of the project team that successfully landed the Philae probe on a comet last November.

An added advantage of FutureLearn is its focus on 'social learning', whereby learners from all over the world can have conversations about the topics covered during a course with one another, and with the academics leading the course.

FutureLearn adds courses throughout the year and repeats popular titles, so the easiest way to keep up to date is to register on the website. Details on upcoming Astronomy courses will also be listed here.

Next Free Online Astronomy Courses:

In the Night Sky - Orion: Starts 9th January 2017 for details to book yourself onto this course click here

Moons - Starts 20th February 2017 booking for this course coming soon.